Alex Rodriguez is a Dominican-American former professional baseball shortstop and third baseman.
Let’s find out some interesting facts about him!
1. Alexander Emmanuel “A-Rod” Rodriguez was born July 27, 1975 in the Washington Heights section of New York City, to a Dominican family.
2. When he was four, Rodriguez and his parents moved to the Dominican Republic, then to Miami, Florida. Rodriguez’s favorite baseball players growing up were Keith Hernandez, Dale Murphy, and Cal Ripken Jr., and his favorite team was the New York Mets.
3. At the end of Alex’s freshman year at Christopher Columbus High School, he transferred to Westminster Christian School, where he was a star shortstop on the baseball team and played quarterback on the football team.
4. In 100 games he batted .419 with 90 steals. Westminster went on to win the high school national championship in his junior year.
5. He was first team prep All-American as a senior, hitting .505 with nine home runs, 36 runs batted in (RBIs), and 35 stolen bases in 35 attempts in 33 games.
6. He was selected as the USA Baseball Junior Player of the Year and as Gatorade’s national baseball student athlete of the year.
7. In 1993, Rodriguez became the first high school player to ever try out for the United States national baseball team. He was regarded as the top prospect in the country.
8. Rodriguez signed a letter of intent to play baseball for the University of Miami and was also recruited by the university to play quarterback for its football team.
9. Rodriguez turned down Miami’s baseball scholarship and never played college baseball, opting instead to sign with the Seattle Mariners after being selected in the first round of the 1993 amateur draft at the age of 17.
10. He played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, and New York Yankees.
11. Rodriguez was one of the sport’s most highly touted prospects and is considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time.
12. During his 22-year career, Rodriguez has amassed a .297 batting average, 696 home runs, over 2,000 runs batted in (RBI), over 2,000 runs scored, and over 3,000 hits.
13. He is a 14-time All-Star and has won three American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards, ten Silver Slugger Awards, and two Gold Glove Awards.
14. Rodríguez is the career record holder for grand slams with 25. However, he has led a highly controversial career due to signing two of the most lucrative sports contracts in history while incurring criticism from the media for his behavior and use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs.
15. The Mariners selected Rodriguez first overall in the 1993 MLB draft, and he debuted in the major leagues the following year at the age of 18. In 1996, he became the Mariners’ starting shortstop and finished second in voting for the AL MVP Award.
16. Rodriguez’s combination of power, speed, and defense made him a cornerstone of the franchise, but he left the team via free agency after the 2000 season to join the Rangers. The 10-year, $252 million contract he signed was the richest in baseball history.
17. He played at a high level in his three years with Texas, highlighted by his first AL MVP Award win in 2003, but the team failed to make the playoffs during his tenure.
18. Prior to the 2004 season, Rodriguez was traded to the Yankees, for whom he converted to a third baseman due to incumbent shortstop Derek Jeter. In his first four seasons with New York, he was twice more named AL MVP.
19. After opting out of his contract following the 2007 season, Rodriguez signed a new 10-year, $275 million deal with the Yankees, extending his record for the sport’s most lucrative contract.
20. He became the youngest player ever to hit 500 home runs, reaching the milestone in 2007.
21. He won his first World Series in 2009, which was the first year of the new Yankee Stadium. The following year, he became the career leader in home runs by a player of Hispanic descent.
22. In recent years, Rodriguez has been hampered by hip and knee injuries, which have caused him to exclusively become a designated hitter.
23. He played his final game as a Yankee on August 12, 2016.
24. In February 2009, after previously denying use of performance-enhancing drugs, including during a 2007 interview with Katie Couric on 60 Minutes, Rodriguez admitted to using steroids, saying he used them from 2001 to 2003 when playing for Rangers due to “an enormous amount of pressure” to perform.
25. While recovering from a hip injury in 2013, Rodriguez made headlines by feuding with team management over his rehabilitation and for having allegedly obtained performance-enhancing drugs as part of the Biogenesis baseball scandal.
26. In August 2013, MLB suspended him 211 games for his involvement in the scandal, but he was allowed to play while appealing the punishment.
27. Had the original suspension been upheld, it would have been the longest non-lifetime suspension in Major League Baseball history.
28. After an arbitration hearing, the suspension was reduced to 162 games, keeping him off the field for the entire 2014 season.
29. Rodriguez grew up with two half-siblings, Joe and Suzy, who were born in the Dominican Republic and are children from his mother’s first marriage.
30. Rodriguez also has a half-brother, Victor M. Rodriguez, who was born to Alex’s father Victor Sr. and his then-wife Pouppe Martinez in 1960.
31. The couple divorced a year later, and Victor Jr. was raised by his mother.
32. Victor Jr., who is an officer in the United States Air Force, fell out of touch with Alex for a period of 23 years, until they met at a Texas Rangers game in 2003.
33. In 2002, he married Cynthia Scurtis, a psychology graduate he had met at a gym in Miami, Florida.
34. The couple’s first child, Natasha Alexander, was born on November 18, 2004. On April 21, 2008, Cynthia gave birth to their second child, Ella Alexander, in Miami, Florida.
35. Cynthia Rodriguez filed for divorce on July 7, 2008, citing “emotional abandonment” of her and their children, as well as “extra marital affairs and other marital misconduct” by her husband.
36. Rodriguez responded in court documents that the marriage was “irretrievably broken” but that allegations of his “extramarital affairs” be stricken from court records. The couple reached a settlement that September.
37. In July, the singer Madonna responded to rumors of an affair with Rodriguez by issuing a statement saying, “I am not romantically involved in any way with Alex Rodriguez” and has “nothing to do with the state of his marriage”.
38. Following his divorce, Rodriguez has dated Kate Hudson, Cameron Diaz, Torrie Wilson, Anne Wojcicki, and Jennifer Lopez.
39. Rodriguez used to own a Mercedes-Benz dealership in League City, Texas, and in his free time, Rodriguez buys and collects art.
40. He is an investor for eSports team NRG eSports.
41. As previously mentioned, Rodriguez and Jeter’s friendship had cooled in recent years. However as of 2011, they have grown close again.
42. As of 2011, Rodriguez is represented by sports agent Dan Lozano.
43. In 2003, Rodriguez gave $3.9 million to the University of Miami to renovate its baseball stadium.